Priorities and Positions

The Alaska Chamber is accepting position submissions for 2017 now through Friday, August 12, 2016. Member submitted positions will be reviewed by the Legislative Affairs Committee prior to the 2016 Fall Forum on October 13 in Kenai, Alaska.

Each fall, Alaska Chamber members gather at our annual Policy Forum to propose positions for the upcoming year. Based on proposals submitted by the general membership, Chamber members adopt positions on issues that impact Alaska's economy. Our Board of Directors selects the Chamber’s top state and federal priorities for the year. Below are the Chambers’ 2016 priorities and positions on critical issues affecting Alaska’s business climate.

2016 State Priorities

Support reduction of spending to sustainable levels
The Alaska Chamber supports reductions to Unrestricted General Fund Spending to $4.5 billion or less by FY 2018.

Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
The Alaska Chamber supports enactment of systemic changes to the Alaska workers’ compensation insurance statutes to reduce the cost of insurance for employers while emphasizing effective treatment programs that promote injury recovery and the return to full employment of injured workers.

Oppose a natural gas reserves tax
The Alaska Chamber opposes punitive taxes aimed at any Alaska business, including a natural gas reserves tax. Punitive taxes will negatively affect Alaska's economic future, make Alaska less competitive, and sends a message to investors that Alaska is not open for business.

2016 Federal Priorities

Support oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska’s federal areas including; the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), Cook Inlet, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
The Alaska Chamber strongly supports oil and gas exploration and production in Alaska’s federal areas; including the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, NPRA, Cook Inlet, and the 10-02 area of ANWR. The Chamber encourages Congress to enact revenue sharing for Alaska and local communities. The Chamber also encourages the Alaska Congressional Delegation, the Alaska Legislature and Governor to support and strongly advocate for responsible development of these valuable resources, while the Chamber commits to actively support and participate in the education and advocacy efforts to open these areas.

Support Repeal or Mitigation of the 'Cadillac Tax' Provision of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Alaska Chamber supports repeal of - or efforts to mitigate - the negative effects of the ‘Cadillac Tax’ provisions contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

State Positions

We-Support-Graphic

  • Support workforce development to increase the number of qualified employees needed to fill positions in resource industries
  • Support transfer or sale of land to private entities
  • Support to include a renewable energy plan in the Tongass Forest Management Plan
  • Support to establish a state fund for transportation
  • Support the University of Alaska
  • Support the Alaska Department of Labor Workforce Investment Board’s inclusion of the maritime industries as a priority industry
  • Support sustainable sea otter harvest and sale of handicrafts
  • Support streamlining fisheries landing tax regulations
  • Support royalty oil sales
  • Support regulatory reform regarding reimbursement in thin medical markets
  • Support reasonable cruise ship passenger fee level and use of those fees consistent with state and federal law
  • Support procurement reform
  • Support permitting by making the number of State of Alaska permitters commensurate with levels of exploration and development activity
  • Support Medicaid expansion provided federal match maintained and/or alternative pilot program implemented
  • Support keeping Alaska state-chartered financial institutions competitive
  • Support in-state oil refining industry
  • Support foreign and domestic private sector investments in Alaska’s resource and manufacturing industries
  • Support for privatization of construction projects
  • Support for overturning the application of the Roadless Rule in Alaska
  • Support for litigation reform relating to resource development projects in Alaska
  • Support for efforts to reduce the high cost of energy
  • Support equitable funding and appropriate use of Alaska's 470 Fund
  • Support efficiencies and cost effective health benefits
  • Support diversification of Alaska’s economy including development of a robust mariculture industry
  • Support development of environmental policies based on sound scientific basis over the precautionary method
  • Support community health center system organization as patient centered medical homes
  • Support clarifying Alaska's credit scoring law
  • Support changing cruise ship wastewater "point of discharge" regulation
  • Support both employers and worker’s rights to determine the value of labor
  • Support and maintain a positive investment climate that provides certainty and stability for continued success for statewide oil and gas activities
  • Support alternative certification for Alaska seafood
  • Support Alaska’s employers right to choose to be a marijuana free environment

We-Oppose-Graphic

  • Oppose new vessel restrictions not based on science with regard to harbor seals
  • Oppose National Ocean Policy (NOP) implementation in Alaska, particularly Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP)
  • Oppose all new unfunded property tax exemptions as introduced on the state level

Federal Positions

We-Support-Graphic

  • Support transfer or sale of land to private entities
  • Support to include a renewable energy plan in the Tongass Forest Management Plan
  • Support the reauthorization of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act
  • Support the expansion of the military presence in Alaska
  • Support the Bypass Mail Program
  • Support sustainable sea otter harvest and sale of handicrafts
  • Support Small Business Administration Native 8(a) Contracting Program
  • Support science-based Endangered Species Act listings and delisting
  • Support reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States
  • Support increased Responsible Natural Resource Development by Improving the Efficiencies of the Permitting Process and Gaining Access to Resources
  • Support foreign and domestic private sector investments in Alaska’s natural resource and manufacturing industries
  • Support for overturning the application of the Roadless Rule in Alaska
  • Support for litigation reform relating to resource development projects in Alaska
  • Support for converting two million acres of the Tongass National Forest to a state forest
  • Support development of environmental policies based on sound scientific basis over the precautionary method
  • Support alternative certification for Alaska seafood

We-Oppose-Graphic

  • Oppose new vessel restrictions not based on science with regard to harbor seals
  • Oppose National Ocean Policy (NOP) implementation in Alaska, particularly Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP)
  • Oppose implementation of the Emission Control Area by the EPA in Alaska
  • Oppose any further federal land withdrawals in Alaska, other restrictive land management designations, and preemptive actions by regulatory agencies